Work It Out – Real Estate and the Fitness Craze
In recent years, the health and fitness industry has emerged as one of the trendiest and fastest-growing markets. A renewed focus on health and wellness has brought forth a surge of fitness gurus, “athleisure” wear, superfoods, and physical culture establishments – aka gyms.
This fitness phenomenon has slowly but surely crept into the workplace.
Various studies tout the benefits of corporate wellness programs; workers who spend 30 – 60 minutes exercising during lunch report an average work performance boost of 15%, while employees who exercise 2.5 hours per week have notably less absences. According to Aflac, medical costs also decreased $3.27 for every $1 spent on corporate wellness programs.
Given the benefits, office gyms are becoming attractive amenities to corporate tenants and employees. Companies like Google, Staples, Verizon Wireless, and Cisco are leading the way for fitness features in corporate HQ’s, with a mixture of basic and high-level amenities. And it’s not just big companies – according to Bisnow, “the push for wellness in the office environment, coupled with a fierce competition to attract and retain workers, has led to a fitness arms race as landlords aim to top each other with the largest gyms and the most workout offerings.” One example is Carr Properties’ new development in Washington D.C., featuring an 8,000 square foot fitness center. Another is Columbia Property Trust’s recently renovated Market Square building, with a gym facility triple its former size.
Not to be outdone, residential landlords are also turning to gyms as competitive amenities. Whether or not a building offers fitness facilities has become an increasingly important factor in residents’ decision-making processes. According to this 2015 survey, 82% of renters want fitness centers as part of their community offerings.